Delhi’s tryst with underground heavy metal at Pandemonium IV

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The sweltering heat in the capital, akin to a living inferno, did not deter the swarm of screaming, passionate black-clad metal fanatics from attending what was the city’s most promising underground heavy metal event – Pandemonium.

Started in 2012, its the fourth edition saw US death metal stalwarts Funerus sharing stage with Indian heavy metal outfits Albatross, Fragarak and Plague Throat on Sunday.

The show began with city-based progressive death metal act Fragarak building up the adrenaline for the packed audience at Out of the Box Cafe, Hauz Khas Village. Playing a nuanced, well-honed setlist, which lasted for over half and hour, Fragarak mesmerised the city’s metal lovers with their brand of heavy yet melodic metal.

Up next were one of India’s highly respected acts – Albatross. The band, which is rooted in traditional heavy and power metal from the 1980s, exhibited a powerful yet enchanting set list comprising of their newest tracks from their debut full length “Fear from the Skies” and older songs from their EP “Dinner is You”.

In a city where bands playing traditional heavy metal doesn’t exist, Albatross brought in a breath of fresh air with their enthralling performance. Vocalist Biprorshree Das’s high-pitched notes were duly complimented with the band’s triple guitar attack.

The band finished with an unexpected yet surprisingly good cover of Dio’s heavy metal classic “Holy diver”, which resulted in a crowd encore.

The mystifying atmosphere created by Albatross’s performance was further upped by Plague Throat, the death metal trio from Shillong who marked their fiftieth concert at Pandemonium – IV.

Performing like a well-oiled machine on stage, the band added a new dimension of heaviness to the overall ambience of the concert. Their captivating stage presence and command over their instruments was awe-inspiring for the fans and they thoroughly enjoyed their forty-plus minute setlist.

After Plague Throat wrecked havoc on stage with their commanding performance, the concert’s headliner Funerus geared up to unleash a slab of grimy, sludgy old school death metal for the capital’s die-hard headbangers.

Formed in 1990, Funerus are based out of Johnstown, Pennysylvania, and have released two full lengths, three demos and an EP in their 25-year-old career.

To promote their latest EP “The Black Death”, the band which is fronted by Jill McEntee – one of the few female death metal vocalists – is in India as part of their “The Black Death Over Asia” tour.

The band, which is known for their brand of early 1990s, no-frills, old school death metal, upped the ante of the concert several notches with a mind-bending setlist, which had the city’s headbangers gasping for breath.

Playing for around an hour, the band’s frontwoman Jill overwhelmed the crowd with her vicious growls and John McEntee, the band’s lead guitarist and also Jill’s husband, was a total treat to watch. Their performances were equally complimented with drummer Pat Carroll and rhythm guitarist Barry Mull, who put on a synchronous display of infectious and groovy metal music.

The band’s next pit-stop is in Malaysia and they would conclude their tour of Asia in Bangkok, Thailand on September 27.

(Ankit Sinha can be contacted at

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